Progressive Breakfast for April 27

Morning Message

Meet the Leaders of the New Grassroots Resistance

They came from communities across the country to Washington, D.C. to share stories, find inspirations, and plan for the future – together. These are the more than twelve hundred who gathered for “Rise Up!” – the founding convention of People’s Action and the People’s Action Institute, held this week in Washington, D.C. They are a truly inspiring group...

Tax Plan May Not Help Middle Class

No guarantees for middle-class help in Trump tax plan. ABC News: “Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin [said] he couldn’t say how Donald Trump’s sweeping tax overhaul plan would affect the president personally, while also declining to guarantee that middle-class families wouldn’t pay more under the proposal. ‘I can’t make any guarantees until this thing is done and it’s on the president’s desk. But I can tell you, that’s our number one objective in this,’ Mnuchin said…”

EPI’s Josh Bivens and Hunter Blair shred tax proposal: “… these tax cuts will not trickle down. There is simply no payoff to low- and middle-income families from cutting the corporate tax rate … since they will not pay themselves, they will not even boost national savings … a 15 percent rate on pass-through businesses is nothing but a loophole…”

No infrastructure in Trump tax plan. The Hill: “Proponents of using repatriation as a funding tool for infrastructure are worried about the message that the White House is sending with the tax plan. ‘This isn’t a good sign… It’s a punch in the gut,’ Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) said in a telephone interview. ‘I think [Trump] has basically told people today he doesn’t want to do infrastructure.'”

Wall St. unimpressed. Politico: “… the widely held view on Wall Street now is that Congress will only be able to manage a modest cut in the corporate rate funded at least in part with revenue from a repatriation of foreign earnings currently held abroad … , there is also concern among market analysts that giant unfunded tax cuts may not produce the kind of growth Republicans are counting on…”

Deficit hawks unnerved. Bloomberg: “Economist Kyle Pomerleau of the conservative Tax Foundation said in a Twitter message Wednesday that there wasn’t enough detail to provide a cost estimate for Trump’s tax plan, while the nonpartisan Center for a Responsible Federal Budget released a rough estimate that it could cost $3 trillion to $7 trillion over the next decade — potentially ‘harming economic growth instead of boosting it.’ … Republican congressional leaders greeted the White House tax announcement coolly, with an emailed statement that said the bullet-points would serve as ‘critical guideposts’…”

Shutdown Threat Subsides

Stopgap bill planned. The Hill: “…Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the one-week bill to fund the government through May 5, predicting leadership would announce a long-term deal shortly.”

Trump flinches on ACA subsidies. ABC: “Democrats say the White House has signaled that the cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments from Obamacare will continue even if language guaranteeing them is not included in the government funding bill. The latest move by the White House removes a major obstacle in budget talks … White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus relayed the news to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi over the telephone…”

Trump Won’t Quit NAFTA

Trump stands down on NAFTA pullout. Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump won’t immediately terminate U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House said, after he spoke with the leaders of Mexico and Canada about ways to renegotiate the accord … Trump’s top advisers had been embroiled in a debate over how aggressively to proceed on reshaping U.S. participation in Nafta, with hard-liners favoring a threatened withdrawal as soon as this week and others advocating for a more measured approach to reopening negotiations with Canada and Mexico.”

Ivanka fashion line produced by workers earning $1 a day. W. Post: “Workers at a factory in China used by the company that makes clothing for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and other brands worked nearly 60 hours a week to earn wages of little more than $62 a week, according to a factory audit released Monday … Inspectors with the Fair Labor Association … found two dozen violations of international labor standards during a two-day tour of the factory in October, saying in a report that workers faced daunting hours, high turnover, and pay near or below China’s minimum wage.”

Breakfast Sides

House may vote on health care again. Bloomberg: “House Republican leaders are considering holding a quick vote on their embattled health care bill after a group of conservative holdouts endorsed a revised version … But Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a leading Republican centrist, says that he believes most moderates remain opposed. He called the new version an effort at ‘blame-shifting’ for the failure of the repeal effort … The amendment would allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions in states that get a waiver.”

Shady figure to lead education policy review. NYT: “President Trump issued a sweeping review of federal education policies on Wednesday in an executive order to pinpoint areas where the government may be overstepping in shaping operations of local school systems … It will be overseen by a regulatory task force headed by Robert Eitel, who was hired from the for-profit sector … Mr. Eitel is a vocal critic of regulations in higher-education and K-12 policy … A New York Times investigation found that before he took his post in the Education Department, Mr. Eitel spent 18 months as a top lawyer for a company facing multiple government investigations, including one that ended with a settlement of more than $30 million over deceptive student lending.”